FBI believes developer of Indio hotel helped Chinese fugitives get U.S. visas
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For years, signs in English and Mandarin have announced a forthcoming hotel and commercial plaza, Victoria Center, near a bustling commercial district on the edge of Indio and La Quinta
The developer, CIIF Hotel Group, is actively working toward securing their building permits, according to the city. But authorities now suspect CIIF Group of defrauding the investors who gave the company its capital, as well as the U.S. government, in a scheme based on a controversial visa program.
According to court documents, the FBI believes San Gabriel Valley residents Victoria Chan and her father, Tat Chan, run CIIF Hotel Group and several other companies. Investigators also believe they collected more than $50 million from more than 100 Chinese investors who were seeking permanent residency in the U.S. under the Immigrant Investor Visa, or EB-5, program.
EB-5 allows wealthy foreigners to invest at least $500,000 in a development project that creates at least 10 permanent jobs, and receive a green card in exchange.